CHP leader visits opposition Islamist party’s supporters attacked while campaigning

Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), visited on Saturday the supporters of Turkey’s opposition Islamist Felicity (Saadet) Party, who were hospitalised after being attacked during election campaign work, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported

Seven supporters of the Felicity were injured on Friday night after a group of people attacked them while they attempted to hang party flags on the Ankara-Konya highway. 

An official statement from Felicity Party on Saturday, quoting a victim, said that one of the attackers threatened the party’s supporters with a gun.

Meanwhile, Ankara head of the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Turgay Baştuğ today confirmed that the attackers were his party’s supporters, who put up a fight with the Felicity Party members because they were putting down MHP posters. Baştuğ accused Felicity Party supporters of reacting violently to MHP members’ warnings and added that his party’s members used their right to self-defence. 

Headed by presidential candidate Temel Karamollağlu, the Felicity Party has taken a critical stance against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), while MHP had joined forces with the AKP ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections.

“Making politics in a democratic environment, expressing our thoughts, hanging posters to make our opinions be heard by the public are all in our tradition of politics,” Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said to reporters after the visit.

He condemned the violence against Felicity Party supporters and added that they respected all political parties on the condition that they did not resort to violence.

Ankara governor’s office made an announcement today about the event and accused the Felicity Party members of putting down MHP posters and using violence. The statement said that Felicity Party parliamentary candidate for the city of Ankara Mehmet Fethi Öztürk fired up his gun into the air during the incident and will be detained after he is discharged from the hospital.